Cybil-Madeline Park, Compassion House donor dies

April 24, 2010

NEW — 6 a.m. April 24, 2010

The philanthropist who donated land for a planned downtown park and housing for the homeless has died.

Julia Pritt, 77, died April 3 at the University of Washington Medical Center in Seattle. The philanthropist amassed a fortune when she and then-husband Frank Pritt launched a software company, Attachmate Corp. Julia Pritt led accounting and human resources for the company.

The retired software executive left a diverse legacy in downtown Issaquah. Her donations laid the foundation for a much-anticipated park and needed transitional housing units.

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Festival organizers unveil Salmon Days theme

April 23, 2010

NEW — 6:43 p.m. April 23, 2010

Salmon Days Festival organizers adore puns, and the theme for the 2010 event nods to dry land with a bit of wordplay: “Something up our leaves!”

The team behind the four-decade-old festival unveiled the theme Friday. The wordplay and accompanying logo — rendered in earthy greens and eye-popping reds — will appear on festival signs, artwork and merchandise.

Salmon Days returns for a 41st year Oct. 2-3.

Like she has for the past 16 festivals, Issaquah designer Robin Dale Spicer created theme and logo.

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Suspect arrested in connection with Squak Mountain residential burglaries

April 23, 2010

NEW — 11:34 a.m. April 23, 2010

Acting on a tip, Issaquah police officers arrested a 26-year-old Issaquah man in connection with two recent residential burglaries that occurred in the Squak Mountain neighborhood.

Both of the burglaries occurred April 21 on Mount Fury Circle Southwest and Mount Olympus Drive Southwest. Both homes were entered by an intruder who forced a door open. Officers recovered more than $3,000 in stolen property, including several flat screen TVs, a guitar and a computer.

The suspect is being held in the King County Jail on felony possession of stolen property and a Department of Corrections violation.

Police are looking for witnesses to the crimes and encourage anyone who may have seen anything suspicious that day to call Detective Ryan Raulerson at 837-3238.

Celebrity chef Giada de Laurentiis visits Issaquah on Friday

April 23, 2010

NEW — 6 a.m. April 23, 2010

Food Network star, celebrity chef and cookbook author Giada de Laurentiis will sign copies of her latest book at the Issaquah Costco on Friday afternoon.

The diminutive de Laurentiis — best known for the Italian recipes she prepared on the Food Network show “Everyday Italian” — will appear at the flagship Costco to promote “Giada at Home: Family Recipes from Italy and California.”

The appearance runs from 4-6 p.m. at the warehouse, 1801 10th Ave. N.W. The store expects a large crowd, and a store employee said some fans could line up hours early for the afternoon appearance. Call the warehouse at 313-0965 for additional information.

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Union trash haulers offer to end strike

April 22, 2010

NEW — 4:05 p.m. April 22, 2010

Waste Management trash haulers represented by the Teamsters Union offered to return to work at midnight Friday.

The union said haulers plan to return to work without conditions “to prevent a public health crisis” and reduce service disruptions.

Waste Management trash haulers represented by Teamsters Local 174 went on strike Wednesday morning. The company picks up garbage in most of Issaquah, except for the Greenwood Point and South Cove neighborhoods. Altogether, Waste Management serves more than 1 million customers across King and Snohomish counties.

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Longtime City Administrator Leon Kos will retire April 30

April 22, 2010

NEW — 1:01 p.m. April 22, 2010

Longtime City Administrator Leon Kos will retire next week.

Kos has served as city administrator — the No. 2 official in the city administration — for 33 years. Issaquah has grown by more than 22,000 residents since Kos started in 1977. Issaquah now claims about 27,000 residents.

Kos will step down April 30. Deputy City Administrator Joe Meneghini will serve as acting city administrator while the city works with a search firm to recruit a successor to Kos. The process could last four to six months. Read more

County officials encourage residents to celebrate Earth Day

April 22, 2010

NEW — 6 a.m. April 22, 2010

Earth Day turns 40 on Thursday, but local officials plan to keep the annual eco celebration fresh with events and initiatives.

King County Council members proclaimed Thursday as Earth Day. The county will host the Earth Day Expo at Westlake Park in downtown Seattle.

The event will feature speakers and vendors to help attendees learn more about how to reduce their carbon footprints and live a “green” lifestyle. Participants will also receive discounts and incentives for eco-friendly products and services.

“Annual Earth Day celebrations have been very successful at raising awareness about the challenges we face in preserving our natural environment as well as the many solutions available,” Councilwoman Kathy Lambert — who represents Issaquah and other parts of the Eastside — said in a statement. “For example, it is great to see people taking many steps to help our environment, such as bringing their own cloth bags to the grocery store.”

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Officials urge Waste Management, union to resolve garbage strike

April 21, 2010

UPDATED — 5:10 p.m. April 21, 2010

King County leaders urged a quick settlement to the strike against Waste Management by garbage haulers represented by Teamsters Local 174.

County Executive Dow Constantine and Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn sent a joint letter to Waste Management and the union Wednesday.

Waste Management trash haulers represented by the Local 174 went on strike Wednesday morning. The company picks up garbage in most of Issaquah, except for the Greenwood Point and South Cove neighborhoods. Altogether, Waste Management serves more than 1 million customers across King and Snohomish counties.

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State budget: School officials breathe sigh of relief

April 20, 2010

Issaquah School District officials announced that with the state’s supplemental budget they will be able to maintain programs and class sizes at existing levels and will not have to lay off teachers this year.

State legislators approved the state’s supplemental budget late April 12 and adjourned for the year.

The compromise took nearly the full 30-day special session to orchestrate, but will raise just less than $800 million in funding over the next year.

The funding will come from additional taxes on cigarettes, beer and soda. Lawmakers also extended a sales tax to bottled water, candy and gum. Other tax initiatives include ensuring that out-of-state companies pay Washington taxes.

The budget cuts about $755 million, including about $120 million in kindergarten through 12th-grade education. In the 2009-11 budget, the original apportionment for kindergarten-through 12th-grade education was $13.56 billion. With the reductions, its 2009-11 allocation is about $13.44 billion during the biennium, according to information provided by the Washington State School Directors Association. Read more

Plan for overnight SR 900 closures

April 20, 2010

Crews will close lanes on state Route 900 overnight through April 23 for roadwork. Workers will close up to two lanes in both directions of SR 900 between Newport Way Northwest and Southeast 83rd Street from 8 p.m. to 5 a.m.

The work will take place as crews near completion of the yearslong effort to widen SR 900 and improve access for bicyclists and pedestrians through the corridor.

The state Department of Transportation opened two new lanes on almost a mile of the road between Southeast 82nd Street and Newport Way Northwest on April 14. But workers will wait for drier, warmer weather to add the final layer of pavement and road striping. Expect more activity in the weeks ahead as workers complete the $33.9 million project.

Crews widened the road from Newport Way Northwest to the vicinity of Northwest Talus Drive and Southeast 82nd Street. Narrow shoulders bracketed the old, single-lane roadway.

Workers added a lane in each direction and a left-turn lane in the center of the roadway, as well as a bike lane and a raised sidewalk on the west side of the road.

Crews also installed a synchronized signal system to help smooth traffic for the 16,000 or so drivers who use the road every day. Workers replaced the culverts at Clay Pit Creek and the west fork of Tibbetts Creek as well. The updated culverts should improve fish passage through the waterways and protect against storm damage.

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